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Mega Millions winner claims winnings in Washington

Friday, January 7, 2011

(Photo)
Jim and Carolyn McCullar, right, of Ephrata, Wash., the winners of a Mega Millions lottery jackpot, talk to reporters, as their son Jason McCullar, left, looks on, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, in Olympia, Wash. The McCullars will split the $380 million prize with another person who has not yet come forward, who purchased a ticket in Idaho.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The man who bought one of the two winning tickets in the $380 million Mega Millions lottery claimed his half of the second-largest jackpot in history Thursday.

Jim McCullar then promptly handed the oversized check to his wife, Carolyn, as their adult children looked on.

"We've been married 41 years," he said. "I know what to do with this check."

While the McCullars stepped forward to get their prize, officials and residents in neighboring Idaho were still waiting for whoever has the other winning ticket to claim their winnings.

In Idaho, the lucky winner has the option of taking a nearly $81 million lump sum payment after state and federal taxes are withheld, state lottery officials said.

In Washington, no state taxes would apply. The lump sum payment would be $90 million after the 25 percent federal tax.

Jim McCullar bought his ticket at a supermarket in Ephrata in eastern Washington, about 125 miles from Post Falls, Idaho, where the other ticket was sold.

At the news conference, McCullar said he woke up his wife after the drawing Tuesday to tell her they had won. The winning numbers were 4, 8, 15, 25 and 47, with the Mega ball number of 42.

"I was pale, shaking. She thought I was having a heart attack," he said.

She asked him how he was.

He told her: "I'm perfect."


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